The Wilson Blade 98 is one of the most popular racquets on the market. The blend between power, control and that slightly head-heavy feel is favored by both pros and amateurs. The 2019 update does not disappoint. Here is my Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review.
I have tested every Wilson Blade since the nBlade version and it has always been one of my favorite racquet lines on the market thanks to its close-to-perfect blend of abilities. I like to flatten out my shots and the 18×20 Blades have always reminded me of more traditional frames with a modern feel. The Blade V7 takes another step in the direction of old-school racquets when it comes to the flexible feel. Due to the new FeelFlex tech from Wilson (similar to FreeFlex from the Clash series), this racquet has a pocketing sensation reminiscent of some true racquet classics and is a lot more responsive than the muted Countervail version.
Buy the Wilson Blade V7 at TennisTopia.
Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review – Specs and tech
Length: 27 inches / 69 cm
Head size: 98 sq inches / 632 sq cm
Weight: 329 grams / 11.6 oz with thick overgrip (305 grams / 10.7 oz unstrung listed weight)
Balance point: 12.8 in / 32,5 cm / 5 pts head light
Beamwidth: 21 mm throughout
String pattern: 16×19 (relatively tight)
Flex: Low 60s
Swingweight: 326.5 strung
This is how Wilson describes FeelFlex: An evolution of Clash’s revolutionary FreeFlex technology, FeelFlex produces a more connected-to-the-ball feel while better complementing the modern, vertical swing path. Proprietary carbon mapping strategically placed throughout the frame provides additional stability and flexibility through the swing.
Flex is suddenly a trend in the industry and that will please a lot of racquetholics and tennis nostalgics. Just look at the number of flexible player frames released recently: HEAD Gravity, Tecnifibre TF 40, Yonex VCORE Pro 97 HD and of course the ultra-flexy Angell K7 Lime. And now the new Blade is another step in the flex direction. It is definitely an interesting development, likely onset by the increasing elbow and wrist injuries in the sport (exacerbated by using stiff racquets and strings).
Check out the Wilson Blade 98 V7 on the official Wilson website.
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Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review – How does it play?
I strung up the Wilson Blade 98 V7 16×19 (there is an 18×20 version as well, not sure it is needed since the 16×19 pattern is quite tight, to be honest) with Luxilon Alu Power at 21 kg / 48 lbs. I also tried it at 24 kg (52 lbs), but it felt a bit too low-powered at that tension. The lower tension opened up some more pocketing, which made the racquet feel a lot better. Especially on flatter shots, I felt the racquet “cupping” the ball. What I also noticed compared to previous editions of the Blade 98 was that the feel on drop shots and volleys were improved. I really felt a strong connection to the ball with this racquet.
This racquet is definitely an upgrade when it comes to the feel compared to the CV version, but the Countervail version is a bit more stable on slightly off-center shots. The crisper feel of the CV version will still appeal to a lot of players, especially since most players today are used to stiffer racquets with some kind of dampening. I think this racquet plays better than the CV that felt a bit board-like to me, but I am still not sure if I prefer the 2015 version or this one. I did play them side to side for this review and the 2015 Blade is crisper, gives you a bit more power and stability, while the V7 edition is more comfortable and slightly sweeter feeling.
Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review – This one or the Clash 98?
I am often asked to compare racquets and so I played this one side to side with the Clash 98, as this is a natural decision to make if you are a Wilson guy and you're looking for a 98 sq inch racquet. If you want to know more about the Clash and haven't read my Clash 98 racquet review, I suggest you do that.
The Clash 98 offers even more flex than the Blade 98, so if you prefer a crisper feel, go with the Blade. The Clash 98 is still slightly more powerful thanks to the thicker beam. It is also more spin-friendly as the 16×19 pattern is more open than on the Blade 98. If you like to hit with spin from the baseline but prefer a smaller head size than 100 sq inches (for improved maneuverability for example), I think the Clash 98 is a natural choice. If you are a player that value directional control, feel, and like to move towards the net, I think the Blade edges the Clash. Two nice racquets, but for slightly different player types.
Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review – Summary
The new Wilson Blade 98 V7 is an improvement to me over the Countervail version. I am still not sure if it is my favorite Blade, both the kBlade and the 2015 Blade offer more power and stability. But this version is probably the sweetest feeling Blade yet with a plushness and pocketing that reminds me of the nBlade 98 and older classic racquets. I especially enjoyed picking up low balls and hitting volleys with this frame, but I do miss the crispness of the earlier Blades at times.
If you like to slice and dice, play creatively and value control and feel over power and spin – this Blade could be your new best friend. If you like to bash topspin balls from the baseline, there are other racquets that do that better. Another impressive racquet and I must say I like this new “flex direction” that the industry is moving towards.
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Wilson Blade 98 V7 Racquet Review Video
What do you think of the new Wilson Blade 98 V7? Too much flex or just enough?
Which are similar to this but most spin friendly?
I would say Angell K7 Red is not too far away and very spin-friendly.
I played with the 2015 blade and it’s a great racquet, but it’s soft enough for me so I’d be worried the v7 is too soft.
How does v7 compare to the Prince tour 100 310 which is another racquet I’m interested in
I played with the 2015 version of the Blade 16 x 19 and purchased the v7 Blade 16 x 19. In my opinion, I find that the 2015 version played a little softer in light of the RA being a bit higher than the v7 version. I like the new version as it has a balance of control and power. I think newer version has little less power and more control than the 2015 version. The v7 plays a little crisp but maintains a comfortable feel.
In terms of comfort, I would say the older versions of the Volkl C10’s Pro from 07 and 08 were buttery comfortable where as the new Blade is a little crisp with modern comfort feel.
your perception when compared to the Tecnifibre 305?
They are similar in swing weight. The Tec feels a bit more stable, but the Wilson offers a bit better feel and touch. Tough choice!
Is the 16*19 still your pattern of choice for the Blades?
Yeah, I don’t think you need to go tighter as the 16×19 is pretty tight anyway.
I’m with Simon. I would really like to hear your thoughts on the prince TTour 310 and the Blade V7. Specs are close. I really need to be able to swing both but would be nice to see what your thoughts are on these two sticks.
I tried the new Blade V7 and, in my opinion, it just doesn’t have the same plow through or stability as the previous CV Blade.
It felt more comfortable than the last one, but it just couldn’t handle pace as well.
Not sure why they didn’t just keep the more head heavy swing weight of the last Blade??
I don’t think it is the balance of the racquet, but the softer layup that might make it feel less stable to some.
Blade v7 18/20 or 16/19 VS Gravity Tour?
Hi Jonas. I wonder if you’ve any recommendation for hybrid tension in this racket? I currently play with DR98 Lite with VS Gut main (23kg) and RPM Blast cross (22kg). Used to play with the 2015 Blade in 18×20 but had to switch to a lighter racket because of injury. I’m looking for power yet keep the racket playable. In other words – how low can I go without things getting funky? Thanks!
I am looking closely at the Blade 98 following a demo of the 18×20 version which I really liked. That frame felt great but it was just a little head-heavy for my liking. So I am considering whether the 16×19 version would be slightly less head-heavy once strung given that there are about 8% less strings (3 runs in a total of 36). Could I expect the 16×19 to be around 2g less head heavy given the less strings, or do they weight up the 16×19 unstrung? To further make the 16×19 head-light (without altering the total weight), could you advise as to whether synthetic strings like NXT are lighter than poly on average. My plan is to use light strings and a heavy grip to move about 5-10g towards the handle without altering the total weight (305 unstrung, around 320 strung), which I find ok for my game.
Thanks for any advice.
Since quality control makes it difficult to know exactly how much the racquet will weight (balance and swing weight are also relative unknows), I don’t think you should count on the strings to make much of a difference. Yes, synthetic grips are generally a bit lighter, but not much. The 16×19 version does have a lower swing weight though, so I find it easier to swing than the 16×19.
Good luck / Jonas
How does the Blade 16×19 v7 compare to the Ultra Tour?
I really love the feel and control of my Ultra Tour that I heavily customized to 346 grams, about 325 SW and a 31.7cm balance. I guess this is pretty close the ideal setup for my allcourt game.
However in matchplay I sometimes would wish a bit easier access to spin and more forgiveness. Especially low short balls on artificial grass courts are often challlenging with the dense 18×20 string pattern of the UT.
Will the Blade 16×19 v7 then a good option (if I customize it to the same specs as my UT)? I only hope it still has that similar connected feel as the UT.
I am comparing this version of the Blade with the Pro Staff 97 2017 (Black and red), in order to buy one of them. I play all around, flat forehand and slice backhand, most of the time.
I do appreciate both of them, but I would be very pleased to read your comment about them: is it worthy to buy a racket which has released 4 years ago or better to move to new technology choosing the Blade? Thanks a lot.
Tech has not changed that much in racquets, buy the one that feels best to you. The PS 97 without Countervail is better than the newer ones in my opinion, but I would probably still for the Blade myself. But you should choose what is best for you. / J
Do you plan to test the 98s V7 ? Would love to see or read your review of this one that some Say very diff from its predecessor
Possibly at some point, I have had an issue getting new racquets to review during the Corona situation so we will see what happens.
Regards / J
Ok Thx. Hope you’ll be able to test the 98s as no one did.
So I’ve recently just tried the Wilson Blade 18×20 CV and really liked it, even though I’ve seen reviews of how CV was quite a stepback from the 2015. I saw your review on the 2019 Blade, which has FlexFeel and is more flexible in terms of RA, and I think a step forward moving on from my Babolat Pure Aero in terms of arm friendliness and control. I’m not able to demo rackets here in my country, Indonesia, but however I do have friends to try the 2019 Blade v7.0 for 18×20 string pattern. I did see that based on your review, you said that the 16×19 string pattern is already closed pattern enough therefore most likely the 18×20 is not needed. As of now, I will be playing with my friend’s CV 18×20 but however I am wondering for the next step, whether the 16×19 would be favored over the 18×20 especially because it is lower RA for version 7 (62 vs 65 for CV), and therefore the power would be better in 16×19 compared to the 18×20 for version 7.0 (I’m afraid the 18×20 will be super low powered). I do use a semi-western grip and for backhand I was a 1HBH, but due to recent elbow problems been using 2HBH but with the Blade it is super nice to do 1HBH now so I am planning to change back. But I’d like to note how it is super nice and controlled when doing a flatter shot with the Blade, compared to the Pure Aero :p Sorry for the long comment, and I hope to hear back from you. Love your Reviews and Channel. Thanks!
I think the 16×19 V7 sounds like a great choice for you! Thanks for the nice comment. Cheers / Jonas
Hi. Which one is recommended Yonex Vcore 98, Ezone 98 or Blade98 v7?
It completely depends on your style. I offer a consultation service if you need more in-depth help. Blade 98 for control and feel, Ezone 98 for power and spin. VCORE 98 for the most power and spin.
I am an ezone 98 user about 2 years now and Yonex fan about 10 years. I want to make a switch to Wilson but I haven’t any experience with Wilson rackets before. I d like to make a step to blades which racket you think is better for this transition blade v7 or blade CV? Thank you.
I was using the Babolat Pure Strike 98 16×19 but, due to arm issues, decided to switch to a more flexible racket with the same specs. I picked the Wilson Blade 98 16×19, which is advertised on Tennis Point (and elsewhere) as having the same specs as the Pure Strike. After playing with it for a while I realised that the Blade was more head heavy and, consequently, had a higher swing weight. I’ve since discovered that this is probably down to quality control. My Babolat was v.close to the listed specs, but the Blade is about 5 grams more heavy than it should be, which means I struggle to time the ball when I’m being rushed. Wilson is a company with a rich heritage, not to mention an impressive list of players who endorse them, but in regard to quality control for us mere mortals I think they’re negligent. Do we know of a company where you ‘get what it says on the tin’ so to speak? Thanks.
I got really interested in the Blade 98 18×20 and actually found the 2015 version, in both string patterns readily available at great discount from some retailers in Europe. Might be a good tips if someone else is on a budget. To my understanding the 2015 and 2019 version is quite similar even though I will modify it slightly by adding 8-10 g putty to the buttcap to change balance to more HL. Would be cool with a review of the 2015 Jonas.
I’m a big fan & really appreciate all the great work you are doing. I usually play with Prestige MP (2019) or Gravity Tour. I recently got the Blade 98 16×19 V8 & strung it with Velocity MLT @54lbs after trying out different strings. I feel a slight pain in the elbow and arm and was wondering if the V7 version is more comfortable than the V8. I am able to win more points with the blade but play better with that Prestige & Gravity, if it makes sense. Hence the dilemma, if I should give Blade V7 a go instead of V8. Would you say if there is significant difference in comfort between both versions of the blade? Thanks!
Hey Suresh, thanks for following. The V8 should also be relatively comfortable, but V7 is for sure a bit plusher. I prefer the V7 generation over V8, so it’s worth giving that a go. Not sure if it is a significant difference, but noticeable for sure.